Status of the Uniting American Familes Act
Please note that the political process can be painfully slow. This is why updates can be very far apart. This does not mean that there is no activity around UAFA. This status page only reflects the significant and more visible advances made by LGBT immigration activists. For more information on how a bill becomes a law, please visit the Project Vote Smart page GOVERNMENT 101: How a Bill Becomes Law.
Number of co-sponsors:
U.S. House of Representatives
Last Update: 06/22/2005
On June 21, the Uniting American Families, UAFA, was introduced in both chambers of Congress. UAFA is simply the new name of the Permanent Partners Immigration Act. Other than the name, no modifications were made to this piece of legislation. For the next two years advocacy efforts will seek to build further support for this legislation.
On Aug. 19 the California State Senate passed the Assembly Joint Resolution (AJR 60), introduced by Assemblywoman Sally Lieber (D, A-22). To read our press release on this, please click here. The resolution was then sent back to the Assembly for clean-up and approval. Now, it is on its way to the entire California delegation in the House and the Senate, the appropriate leadership in each chamber of Congress, and the White House. California is the first state in the nation to pass such a resolution.
What does this mean?
Since the State of California has no jurisdiction over immigration matters, this resolution will not help couples. Yet, it is a strong endorsement of the most populous state in the nation in favor of this legislation. Consider it a "soft lobby" where big players are going to hear about PPIA. On the other hand, AJR 60 does not imply immediate support of legislators in DC for the measure. But like anything in politics, the more pressure the better. Love Sees No Borders will gladly work with anyone interest in having a similar resolution introduced in a different state. If you would like to get involved, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today the California Assembly passed the Assembly Joint Resolution 60 (AJR 60). This resolution was introduced by Assemblywoman Sally Lieber (D-A22) after a meeting she had with Love Sees No Borders on this issue. Equality California sponsored the legislation. The resolution now moves to the California State Senate where it will be likely heard by a committee before it goes to the full floor for a vote. To read Love Sees No Borders' release please click here.
What does this mean?
If the resolution is approved by the Senate, it would be sent to Washington D.C. as an endorsement from the State of California for the PPIA. The resolution will be delivered to the White House, as well as members in both houses of Congress. This is significant because it would help PPIA gain further momentum in Washington D.C.
It is worth noting that on its own this resolution is symbolic since the State of California has no jurisdiction on immigration matters. Only Congress has the authority to alter immigration law. Yet, as pointed out, the resolution will be sent to all key players in D.C. letting them know that California supports this measure. Love Sees No Borders would like to invite people in other states to contact their legislators and request that they introduce similar resolutions. If you would like to take the lead in such an effort, please feel free to contact us if you need assistance by e-mailing us at email@example.com.
PPIA was successfully introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, and the bill number is S. 1510. For more news about the introduction of the bill, please read Partner immigration bill arrives in Senate.
On the House of Representatives, support for PPIA continues to grow. As of this update, we count with 115 co-sponsors. This shows increased support for the bill, but also alerts that all of us, activists and public at large, must continue our efforts at bringing this bill forward.
Love Sees No Borders, in partnership with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, will join labor and immigrant groups in the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride to take place between Sept. 20-Oct.4. Our goal is to share the stories of LGBT couples across the country to raise further awareness of this issue and the urgent need of PPIA. We would appreciate if you could make a financial contribution to the IWFR on behalf of Love Sees No Borders. We also encourage binational couples to participate in this historic event!
PPIA was successfully reintroduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Jerrold Nadler on Feb. 13th. Nadler had a list of 89 original co-sponsor supporting the bill. This is the highest number of original co-sponsors PPIA has ever had at introduction, and this is considered a success. We still need to work on gaining the ground lost in the elections, and to increase the momentum behind the bill. The bill number is no longer H.R. 690. Its new number is H.R. 832. Please make note of this change when communicating to friends and representatives about it.
So far no companion bill has been introduced in the Senate.
People close to the issue speculate that with the current political environment the bill will not go far in the 108th Congress. Regardless of this harsh reality, a lot of work needs to be done in building further coalitions and educating the public. No work in support of the bill is stopping because of the political climate!
PPIA needs to be reintroduced this year in the House of Representatives in the 108th Congress that began this year. Congress ends every two years, and each bill that has not been voted on needs to be reintroduced. As of today, Congressman Nadler has not reintroduced the bill, but he has made it a tradition to do so on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14th.
The information for the past Congress (107th) is as follows.
Bill Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims on 3/2/2001. The bill has received no hearings or actions of any kind.
What does this mean to couples: Currently there is no estimation of when this bill will pass. Americans and residents in same-sex binational relationships still cannot sponsor their foreign partners.
For more information on the PPIA, please click here.
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